"What really did happen to Constantine XI?"
Reviewed by Leanne Davis
Posted April 3, 2013
The son of a Turkish mother and an American father, the main
character in THE SULTAN OF BYZANTIUM was brought up with
money but little
love. He is able to afford time overseas and time to
explore various careers. He eventually settles on a career
teaching at an Istanbul university.
He is contacted by three men who offer him unlimited wealth
and the promise of learning the truth about the death of
Constantine XI. Constantine was fighting the Ottoman Empire
to retain control of the city once known as Constantinople.
He was supposedly killed but his body was never found.
The professor is told he is the last in line to the
inheritance of Constantine. He will be set a series of
tasks that he must accomplish before he the inheritance. He
must carryout the final wishes of Constantine.
The premise of the book is fascinating as we learn the
history of the invasion of the Ottomans into what is now
modern day Turkey. The story meanders from the childhood of
the man to his adult life and one who will one day become
heir to a great fortune.
While it was interesting in parts, I found myself feeling
sorry for him and somewhat despising his self indulgent
lifestyle. One can both admire and be saddened by a man
with so much potential who wastes it. If you are looking
for a top notch thriller, THE SULTAN OF BYZANTIUM will not
meet your needs. If you are interested in Middle Eastern
history, you will be amazed at the amount you can pick up.
Parts of the book made me want to travel to Instanbul and
see the neighborhoods the author describes in loving detail.
Some of that detail diverted attention from the main story
and left me feeling unfulfilled.
Fighting the Ottoman invaders in Constantinople, Emperor
Constantine XI was killed—his body never found.
Legend has it that he escaped in a Genoese ship, cheating
certain death at the hands of the Turks and earning himself
the title of Immortal Emperor.
Five centuries after his disappearance, three mysterious men
contact a young professor living in Istanbul. Members of a
secret sect, they have guarded the Immortal Emperor's will
for generations. They tell him that he is the next emperor
in line and that in order to take possession of his fortune
he must carry out his ancestor's last wishes.
What follows is his journey to the heart of a mystery of
epic historical significance.
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